NSA's Surveillance of Americans' Phone Data Not Authorized, Says U.S. Federal Appeals Court

NSA
On November 29, 2015, the National Security Agency (NSA) will stop accessing "historical metadata" collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced in a press release on Monday.  REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday said a National Security Agency program that collected the records of millions of Americans' phone calls was not authorized by Congress.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court judge erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging the program's constitutionality, and returned the case to the judge for further proceedings. It also upheld the denial of a preliminary injunction to block the collection of phone records under the program.

Thursday's decision vacated a December 2013 dismissal of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit contending that the NSA's collection of "bulk telephony metadata" violated the bar against warrantless searches under the Fourth Amendment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

NSA's Surveillance of Americans' Phone Data Not Authorized, Says U.S. Federal Appeals Court | U.S.